Microsoft is recommending that its users switch to the Edge browser, instead of Firefox or Chrome, pitching this new software application as a replacement for its older, more established rivals.
According to VentureBeat, upon typing the words “Firefox” or “Chrome” in the Bing search box on a Windows 10 device located in the U.S., a banner appears above the search results, which states “Microsoft recommends Edge for Windows 10”.
There is also a “Learn why” button on the banner, which can be clicked so that visitors can be directed to a marketing page, provided that they wish to discover more about the browser’s advantages. There isn’t however a similar promotional message when searching for “Opera”.
A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed that they have implemented this banner because Edge “was designed exclusively for Windows 10 with features and functionality that enhance the browsing experience”.
According to the company’s representative, the advertising message promoting the Edge browser doesn’t appear automatically, after every search. However, when it does, its role is to provide the new operating system users with relevant information in order to make their Internet surfing as pleasurable and convenient as possible.
Naturally, users still have the freedom to select whichever default browser and search engine they prefer, if Edge does not suit their expectations.
However, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has claimed Microsoft is guilty of an “aggressive move to override user choice on Windows 10”, by making it too difficult and time-consuming for such clients to select Firefox as default browser.
Microsoft’s current promotional efforts are meant to mark a departure from Internet Explorer, which still reported a user share of 52% in August.
Although the post-installation setup of Windows 10 automatically sets up Edge as the default browser, it has been discovered that just a minority of people actually run it (approximately 2% of the world’s online users).
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has given promotional advice to its customers, and such practices used to be regulated by the European Commission. According to a law which expired last year, an IT company couldn’t select a default browser for its clients, Instead, it had to present them with a variety of options to choose from.
Other companies have also employed such tactics of promoting specific partner browsers. For instance, Google users are often advised to opt for Chrome as default browser, whereas Yahoo clients are encouraged to use Mozilla’s Firefox.
Image Source: Microsoft